Guilherme Ramos: Language Master

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Guilherme Ramos, an outgoing young man from Brazil, has a story both unusual and familiar to international students attending Snow College.

Since high school, Guilherme has had a dream to study in the United States.  Because of the expense of studying abroad, his dream was put on hold until after his graduation, when he decided to study foreign languages.  This option was not available to him in Brazil, where he could only study languages he already speaks: English and Portuguese.  While originally intending to study in Arizona, he ended up choosing Snow College as the more affordable option, where he has been studying for the past two semesters.

Coming to Snow College involved a lot of firsts for Guilherme.  “That was the first time I took a plane {ride}, the first time travelling by myself.  I’m also the first one in my family to come to college, the first one in my family to speak English,” he described.  Living in the Suites at Academy Square during the spring was also his first time living with roommates.

Some international students may find themselves homesick for their native food and language during their study abroad.  Guilherme has been fortunate to find both here in Ephraim.  Currently he is living with a local Brazilian-American family, where Brazilian cuisine is just a kitchen away, and Portuguese is spoken freely.

American holidays have been a new experience for this young Brazilian.  He recently experienced his first Halloween, which was “really interesting and a little spooky”, and he is eagerly awaiting his first Thanksgiving with his host family.  He has celebrated Christmas in Brazil, but he says Brazilians tend to view the holiday in terms of the American stereotype, which involves snow, Christmas pine trees, and gatherings around the fireplace.  Since he can’t readily find those things in Brazil, he joyfully looks forward to experiencing them in his first American-style Christmas.

Guilherme mentioned that when he first came to Ephraim, the kindness of local residents and students stood out to him.  He said, “When I came to Utah, the people were friendlier than the people in Brazil… They are able to help you with everything.  They don’t mind if you get stuck with your English and forget words.  It was comfortable to be here, even though it was the start of something new.”  Every international student interviewed by the author so far has agreed that friendliness is a defining characteristic of Ephraim residents and students alike.

Guilherme is currently studying Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Italian and French.  Combined with his native Portuguese and eight years of studying English, he will be able to speak seven different languages at the end of his study.  He hopes his language skill will help him find a career in diplomacy or at the United Nations.  His experiences at Snow College will help him achieve his dreams and shape his life for years to come.

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